Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Extended Absence Over

I have been gone too long. Yes.

Life has changed quite a bit since my last post. We live in a new house, in a new state; I have a new job and new students and an office of my very own.

I have every intention of getting back on here regularly. I have a house to decorate and document. I have a new city to explore, with plenty of great restaurants, parks, and other inspiring things to blog about. I have life changing events on the horizon to make me reflect and need to write.

Yes, I shall return shortly.

Until then. . .

Welcome to our new home.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Monday?

This weekend included a birthday party for an adorable one-year-old, a visit from my parents, and a low-key afternoon in the backyard on Sunday with M and the pets. It was pretty perfect, and I was sad to see it go.

Today begins my final week of classes for the summer; then I'm officially on summer break until I start my new job in August. I have plenty to do before I get to Friday, so Monday Muffins were a must to get me geared up for this week. I had three rotting bananas, and my parents brought us tons of strawberries, so I give you...

Strawberry- Banana Muffins

3 large, ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 sugar (I subbed 1/2 of it with Splenda)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c butter, melted
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c chopped strawberries

Combine bananas, sugar, egg and butter. Mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Fold in strawberries. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Top with sugar in the raw for a little crunch (optional). Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

After this week is over, I will have a lot more time to blog about something other than muffins...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Monday Morning Muffins

Part I: The Muffins

In an effort to use up a bunch of blueberries, I made muffins a few weeks ago on Sunday evening. The next morning, I got out of bed a bit quicker because I knew I had a delicious muffin to eat as I walked to work. M concurred that the muffins made his Monday brighter as well (huge surprise). And, thus began a new tradition in our house. Today marks the third consecutive week of Monday Muffins. So, I've decided it's now a thing.

And, this week's muffin recipe is one you're gonna want to try -

Peaches and Cream Muffins
1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c chopped peaches

Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg, sour cream and vanilla and mix. Mix in flour and baking powder until just combined. Fold in peaches. (I sprinkled sugar in the raw on top to add a little crunch). Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, them move to wire cooling rack. Yields a dozen.

Seriously easy. Seriously delicious.

Part II - Blog Changes
As you may have noticed, things have changed here at GMG. I decided to merge my personal blog with this one. Since I wasn't posting on either one, I figured having one blog to focus my energy might make it easier. I'm optimistic.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thoughts on Marriage (at the 8 month mark)

Life is a crazy mess of uninteresting research papers (writing them and grading them), a fractured ankle, and a dog with a lick granuloma and plastic cone on her head. Since I am unable to drive, bike, or even go for a walk, I have been forced to sit on the couch, surrounded by my research and stacks of essays to grade. Occasionally, I break the monotony by painting my nails, reading magazines, and spending too much time online.

Last night, as I allowed my brain to turn all mushy, rewarding it for an incredibly stressful week with tea and movie trailers, I came across the preview for Hall Pass, which is about a bunch of husbands who get a week off from marriage to do whatever they want. I'm sure it's a funny movie, and I'm also sure that the two idiot husbands end up seeing that being married isn't so bad at the end of it. However, the whole premise sort of irks me. I'm so tired of marriage being depicted as a huge tiresome burden.

I remember interacting with various acquaintances and distant relatives at our wedding reception, and it seemed that all the men had some smart ass "piece of advice" to share with Mikael. Most of these completely useless pointers centered around just keeping the peace and saying "Yes, dear." Now, I was pretty happy that day, so I smiled politely and didn't point out how stupid their "advice" really was, especially when sharing it with a couple who just signed their marriage license ten minutes before. If I would've been less Pollyanna-ish and more myself that day, I probably would've pointed out that I want Mikael to share his opinions with me, to fight with me so we can get better and better at communicating. As much as I feel I'm always right, I know that I won't be all the time. And, I haven't been.

I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say in this post other than I'm just tired of every depiction of marriage after the wedding day being something to be suffered through. I know marriage is hard (or it will be one of these days :). I guess what I'm getting at is marriage is hard enough without people setting it up with such low expectations.

As for us, I'm sure Mikael won't ever be asking for a hall pass:

"I love you. I will always pray to love you more, better and honestly. I love your beauty, be it rolling out bed, dressed up to teach, or cleaning the house with frizzy hair. You cannot make me love you less. You are mine, and I am smiling. Have a wonderful day." ~ via text message today

Friday, February 11, 2011

Newlywed Nesting

I have gradually been redecorating our little house. I started many projects last school year, but now that I have a full-time handyman at my disposal, I seem to be completing my projects a lot faster. My most recent accomplishment was finishing the kitchen.

Here are the photos I took of the house when I was considering buying it. Not my stuff, but the walls, cupboards, and windows didn't change until the big overhaul I started last fall.
The gaping hole of missing cabinets. I assume the previous
owners were too cheap to buy all the cabinets.

The tan paint doesn't look so bad in these photos, but it was a rather yellowy tan.

And, the finished product:

Added cupboards & microwave. Painted walls light grey, added red highlights.

Yes, I made those valances myself.

Breakfast nook, with chalkboard paint (!!!!).
Please note adorable kitty in his favorite nap spot - right above the heater.

Happy Friday

Maddy wishes you a restful weekend.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Need for Documentation

When I was in grad school (the first time), Mikael and I broke up for about four months. During this time, I casually started seeing a guy my friend Anna set me up with. We went out as a group the first time, but he and I spent most of the time engrossed in conversation about our shared favorite author - Graham Greene. After that, we would get together every other week or so for a movie or meal. He was cute, funny, and an English teacher at a high school in Detroit. Seemingly perfect for me.

One weekend, Anna came to visit, and the three of us went out for coffee and dessert. Anna is a shutterbug, so at the end of our time together, she wanted us to take some photos. To Anna and I, this is normal practice, but, as we clustered together to take a timed shot in front of the coffee house, J muttered, "I hate documentation." It was such an odd, disgruntled statement. Anna and I glanced at each other, making sure the other also heard what he had just said. We said our goodbyes, and J and I set up a dinner for a week later.

When Anna and I got in the car, we immediately started sharing our exasperation. What was wrong with taking a photo? And why such a jerky statement? We laughed about it for a while, bringing it up from time to time as months went by.

I'm not sure why, but I think of that often. As a writer, who's married to a photographer, documenting my life has never been something I've thought twice about. I also have a horrible memory (something that I wish I could remedy in time for my comprehensive exams next year). So, I rely on old blog posts, journal entries, and many a GB of photos to remind of what has come before.

J and I obviously didn't work out. Not long after this meeting we shared a meal and started talking about politics. And, well, he is the most conservatives of conservatives, even going so far as writing a piece in the Detroit newspaper defending No Child Left Behind and George W. Bush's views on education. After that dinner, neither one of us made the effort to set up another date. But, I still wonder why he hated taking a photo and why documenting your life could be anything less than a nice way of recording your own history.

Today, Mikael and I played hockey in our backyard. Thanks to the Ice Storm of 2011 (and much grooming by Mikael), we have had an ice rink in our yard for two weeks. And, of course, we took a photo to help us remember how awesome it was in the future.

Valentine Craftastic

After finishing grading 50 essays this weekend, I treated myself to a trip to the craft store and loaded up on felt, paper, and thread in various shades of pink and red. Here are some of the results:
Crayon/wax hearts a la Martha

Valentine garland

My workspace. Felt heart garland in progress.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Long Winter


I am so sorry for the long hiatus. I was busy. I planned a wedding in three months, got married, and finished yet another semester of grad school - all since my last post. Fortunately, my new schedule this semester allows me some free time to possibly post more frequently. I shall try.
And, if I don't, you'll surely understand since now I live with this adorable face, and sometimes I find it hard to concentrate.